In a recent blog post by W-Systems, an Elite SugarCRM Partner, Christian Wettre showed off a cool enhancement to the Sugar 7 Saved Report Chart dashlet.  Very conveniently, they included a package you can download so you can easily install it and look at the code to see how it works without any fuss.  I just tried it in a Sugar 7.5.1 instance and it worked like a charm!

Since some of the most effective SugarCRM dashboard elements are charts based on reports, I find my dashboards full of those charts. These charts scream out for the ability to dig down into the underlying details. In the current release of SugarCRM 7 it is a little cumbersome to actually do this. We solved this with a code enhancement module that adds a drill down link to any Saved Report Chart dashlet. With this module installed you can click on the drill down link on any report based dashlet to open the dashlets underlying report in a new browser tab.

Head over to the W-Systems blog to see an instructional video and download this package for yourself!

A quick aside.  In production, SugarCRM recommends deploying new custom dashlets instead of overriding the built-in dashlets.  Users will be able find your custom dashlet just as easily as built-in dashlets while allowing the built-in dashlets to get upgraded.

If you’ve browsed the Sugar 7 JavaScript codebase much then you’ll notice that we use Underscore.js all over the place. Use of _.each, _.bind, _.debounce, _.filter, and more are littered throughout the Sugar 7 codebase.  It’s not uncommon to see multiple usages of it on the same line of code.

 this.resize = _.bind(_.debounce(this.resize, 200), this);

In order to get a quick estimate of how often Underscore is used, you can do a quick search for “_.” within JavaScript sources.  The Sugar 7.5 JavaScript codebase turns up 5,976 uses of Underscore.js!

We love Underscore for a couple different reasons.  First off, it helps make our JavaScript code much more readable than if we used vanilla JavaScript everywhere.  Secondly, there’s some handy utilities in Underscore that can be expertly applied to improve Sugar 7 application performance.

Read below to learn how several Underscore.js Function utilities can be used to improve performance and responsiveness of your apps.

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This would be a good post to bookmark!

Francesca, one of our Sugar Community members, has a great post on the Sugar Community where she lists some of her favorite Sugar 7 resources and asks the community to list their own.  It has become one of our most active conversation threads in the Sugar Community.

In the same spirit, I wanted to summarize the Sugar 7 resources that the community shared in that thread including a few of my own. Let me know if I’m missing anything below!

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Someone recently asked Sugar Engineering the following question.

Suppose I have a webpage or web app that I am accessing from a mobile device, e.g. Safari on iPhone or Chrome on Android. Is it possible for me to create a link on that page into the SugarCRM Mobile application installed on my mobile device? Say for example I want it to open my mobile app to a specific Contact record.

SugarCRM Mobile does support this kind of functionality.  You can embed a link that looks as follows:

<a href="sugarcrm:///Configure?page=Contacts%2F_RECORD_ID>" View Contact </a>

Where “_RECORD_ID” is replaced with the full Contact ID.  Basically, the page parameter is the URL encoded route into the SugarCRM Mobile application.  To find out other supported routes, you can navigate around the web version (http://your_sugar_instance/mobile/) of the mobile app on any Sugar 7 instance.  The part of URL after hash sign will be the route you can use in “sugarcrm://” links.

This will have you creating some slick integrations with the SugarCRM Mobile app in no time!

Greetings Sugar Developers!

Are you coming to SugarCon this year?  We hope so!  But even if you are not, we’d still love to hear from you.

We would like to gather information from as many Sugar Developers as possible to make sure this year’s UnCon caters to the needs of the Sugar Developer community… in more ways than one!  This feedback is essential to us as we plan for UnCon.  Most importantly, this survey is how we are gathering preliminary feedback on discussion topics and exercises that Sugar Developers want to see at UnCon.  So please feel free to share as much or as little information as you’d like.

To fill out the Developer Survey, please visit the UnCon minisite and click on the big green link on the right that says “Developer Survey”.

Sugar 7 Dashlets

As you may know Dashboards and Dashlets are some of Sugar 7’s most popular front-end features. Customizable Dashboards empower users with the ability to customize the contextual intelligence that gets delivered to them by their CRM within every single view of the application.  For Sugar Developers, Dashlets allow us to deliver contextual intelligence (including integrations) to our end users in a well encapsulated component and a consistent pattern.

A Dashlet Gotcha!

Since Sugar 7 Dashlets are just Sidecar views, there is metadata that you need to manage.  So one of the biggest things you’ll want to remember when working with Dashlet metadata is that Dashlet metadata gets copied into the dashboards table. If you change the .php metadata file for the Dashlet, make sure you go into the dashboards table and delete the row for the dashboard created for the module/view you are testing it on, otherwise no matter how many times you clear your cache, restart your computer, or throw your mouse, that Dashlet won’t be doing what you’re expecting it to do!

See below for an example of working with a Dashboard entry in Sugar 7.5.0.

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It’s time to let some of your hard work shine!  Martin Schneider just posted this today on our corporate blog.  I hope everyone can make it to SugarCon but even if you can’t, you can still submit your sweet Sugar apps in the App Throwdown.  See details below.

SugarCon is just around the corner – and that means it is also time for another round of the SugarCon App Throwdown! The App Throwdown – always an attendee favorite – is a showcase of some of the coolest, most useful, and most innovative extensions of the Sugar platform. The fun, sometimes manic, atmosphere of the final judging session at SugarCon not only promises to entertain, but also give Sugar users some great tools to advance their own CRM initiatives.

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While App Throwdown is always a blast – we wanted to make it even better this year. How? Well, for starters, we’ve opened up the submission eligibility to EVERYONE! That’s right – anyone who wants to submit an extension, connector, custom app integrated to Sugar, etc. can apply. Simply fill out this ONLINE FORM to be part of the processes.

Submissions will be accepted until March 27! So get your submission ready – all you need is a cool app/connector/customization, a short video of your app in action, and a completed form to enter!

Also, we have created some categories to help guide your submissions, and the category winners will be the ones to battle it out for “Best in Show” on the main SugarCon stage in April.

This years categories include:

Category Description
Mobile Help your customers see i2i, wherever they are. This category will be judged on the best mobile customization, or mobile extension of Sugar in marketing, field sales, field service or other customer-facing scenarios.
Best Seamless Integration Sugar provides virtually limitless ways of integrating with virtually limitless apps and data sources. This category will focus on applications that follow the best practices of our UI/UX and show creative use of the Intelligence Panel, Dashlets, Activity Streams, and other key areas of the Sugar UX best in class user interface.
Data, Information, & Analytics Getting the right information at the right time is a critical part of creating extraordinary customer relationships. Understanding business insights is an important tool for optimizing your selling and go-to-market strategy. Entries in this category will be judged on how they help Sugar users make better decisions and execute faster based on having better information at their fingertips.
Customer Experience and Engagement This category will look at integrations and customizations that optimize the customer experience and increase levels of engagement. These can include workflow-based customizations and extensions to better align with the customer journey; embedded call center or other real-time employee-to-customer communications; or tools to help agents close more deals or resolve more cases faster.
Beyond CRM The openness of the Sugar platform means that developers and users’ only limits are their imaginations.  Entries in this category will focus on the “edge cases” of CRM. So, if your application interfaces with the real world through the “Internet of Things”, or you’ve added game mechanics to motivate the right behavior, or tied into today’s powerful social tools, this category is for you!

The judging process this year will be a bit different as well. An all-star panel of SugarCRM staff and some special industry influencers and observers will judge all submissions to determine the category winners. These will be announced here on the blog in early April.

At SugarCon, the category winners will compete on stage for the “Best in Show” award – in front of an expert panel of SugarCRM executives including CEO Larry Augustin, and some guest industry influencers. But as in past years – the audience will vote on the category winner they think deserves to be Best in Show!

So, all you Sugar partners, developers, tech-savvy customers with a cool custom module or integration – we invite you to submit ASAP and join us in making the 2015 App Throwdown the best yet!